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Skating with the Soap Stars

I’ve been watching “Skating with the Stars” on Monday nights lately. Although I don’t usually like reality shows, the skating sets it apart for me.

I started ice skating as a kid at the Northfield Ice Skating Rink in Cleveland, Ohio. It was 1972 and I was 12. This may be where Sean Young got her start in skating too, since she was a classmate of mine who also sang in the Girls Glee Club/Mens Chorus when we made a trip to sing in Washington, DC. Young, who later starred with Harrison Ford in the science fiction classic “Blade Runner,” was unfortunately voted off the show during the first round of eliminations.

After watching her skate on the show, Herman and I both agreed she wasn’t as graceful as some of the others, especially, Rebecca Butig, who ironically has starred in one of my favorite soaps, “All My Children.” Although I don’t follow the show any more, I was a faithful watcher of Butig and her character Greenlee Smythe for many years. My aide Terry helped wean me off the show by correctly predicting every plot twist before it happened, showing how ridiculous and vapid such shows can be. I also started watching more thought provoking shows on cable TV such as “Men of a Certain Age” which stars Ray Romano and the emotional “Brothers and Sisters,” which could be categorized as a night-time soap starring Sally Field and Callista Flockhart. For two years Rob Lowe added his acting talent to the cast as well.

I got an early acting walk-on in the soap, “One Life to Live,” where I played a nurse. I also worked on a project in pre-production that was called “Sibs” which never made it to full production, but which kind of reminds me of “Brothers and Sisters” in its plot line.

Interestingly, Young did a stint on “The Young and the Restless” this year, a soap I haven’t watched. She supposedly has left the show, but you never know with soaps. Butig was off “All My” for a year or two and came back.

Butig made the statement in an interview that she had taken lessons in ice skating as a child and wanted to get back into it having quit at age 9. She said she had always dreamed of pairs skating one day, so this show has helped fulfill that dream for her. She obviously shows some talent on the ice, and is leading the pack as I write this.

My mom shares my love of watching figure skating on TV. It’s the one sport we both like to watch on TV.  About the only other reality shows I like have to do with singing, such as “American Idol” and “The Sing Off,” which happened to compete for an audience with “Skating” for an audience, last Monday night for the finale.

“Skating with the Stars” is on Monday nights on ABC-TV.

Here’s hoping you are having a great holiday with family and friends!

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site